I love breakfast! There I said it. I have admitted my addiction.
Breakfast is another one of those taboo things that I have had to give up as I get older. Not the meal itself, just the best parts of it. The eggs…fried, the hash browns browned in butter, the biscuits slathered in gravy, the pancakes with generous amounts of syrup…this is what I have had to give up. I have replaced it mostly with sensible oatmeal. Sometimes I get a little crazy and drop some walnuts or raisins in it, but mostly just oatmeal.
Today though, I fell off the wagon. I had been listening to my wife and daughter talk about Gailey’s Breakfast Cafe downtown. They told stories of large plates of fried breakfast food at reasonable prices. I needed a real dose of breakfast and this sounded like just the fix I needed.
Gaileys is located on Walnut Street in what used to be Gailey’s Pharmacy according to the cashier. As you enter one of the first things I noticed was the stools and counter. The only thing missing was the soda fountain. Although I was tempted to sit at the counter, this was going to be a “real” breakfast day. I needed a full size table.
A quick right, took us into a very open room with high ceilings that gave me a slight sense of deja vu. I loved the atmosphere. This place was old a you could feel it. The waiter was there quickly with the menus and a glance told me that I had found the Holy Grail of breakfast. One of the specialties of Gailey’s is Sweet Browns. These are hash browns, but made from sweet potatoes. Interesting, but I was sticking with the classics today. Eggs, pancakes and biscuits and gravy.
I was not disappointed. Gailey’s serves a quality breakfast in generous portions that will delight any breakfast addict. I was content. I didn’t think the day couldn’t get any better, but it did.
Now about the only thing I love more than breakfast…is history. My wife and I collect and sell postcards and one of the areas we collect is Springfield, MO. So I was really surprised when I saw a picture of one of my recent postcard finds next to the register at Gailey’s. I recognized the card as being from the Hotel Seville. I pointed out the card to the cashier and told her that I had a similar one and I wondered if she new where the Hotel Seville used to be located. She looked at me and said your standing in it.
Like a switch had been turned on, I looked around and I could see that I was in the Hotel Seville.
Many things in the postcard had changed little over the years. The cashier is located where the hotel clerk checked guests in and out. The stairs in back lead to rented lofts above the cafe. Our table where I indulged my breakfast fantasies that morning was located right where the yellow couch is. I also think the wooden French doors are possibly the same ones as shown in this postcard.
I love it when history comes to life. When we can experience it for ourselves. When we can stand where others stood and maybe experience just a little of what they did.
As with all historical finds, they usually bring about even more questions than they answer. So, as I left Gailey’s Cafe with my belly full and happy with my little lesson in local history, I still had one nagging question…
What do you think they served for breakfast at Hotel Seville?